Monday, March 26, 2012

Surveys: Recap

I recently wrote about the awesome survey idea I stole from a good friend.  Several responses are now in, and I am a little surprised by the one and only common theme:  they love the YouTube videos.

I'm not surprised by this theme.  I'm just surprised it's the only one.  Well, I think review games were a theme, too.

I really like the class so far. I love how Professor Peterson explains everything in depth, plays review games before every test, and of course, shows us YouTube videos every now and then!

I enjoy the video clips you use in your teaching.

>>Read: "I love it when we take a break from math."

Lesson learned:  show more non-math-related YouTube clips.

On another note, one student did make this comment that I really love:

In most of the math classes I have been in, I'm often lectured at and I'm just taking notes. It took me a little bit of time to get used to being asked questions in the middle of notes, but I like it now.

I love this because, honestly, sometimes--no matter how hard I try--I feel like I really am just lecturing at my students.  But, one thing I do consistently is ask for students' thoughts--not as a whole, but individually.  On any given day, each student will be called upon anywhere from two to four times during the class period.  It took me a while to muster up the courage to be so direct with my class; I know lots of teachers do this naturally, but it was something I really had to practice.  However, the results have been great.  For one, I get a pretty good gauge on how well they're picking up the material without any kind of formal assessment.  For two, they stay a little more alert since they know they might be called on any second (emphasis on little).  For three, apparently they don't feel lectured at!  Hoorah!

Thoughts?  Do you call on students often as well?  If so, is it as successful as I'm making it sound?  Any downfalls?

The brilliant work of Jorge Cham.  I got to see him in person when I was in grad school.  He's even funnier in real life.

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